Christ the King – Sermon 219

Christ the King

10am Holy Communion CW

25th November 2012

Bible References :

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Prayer to Start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ

AMEN

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Today is the last Sunday in the Church Year when we celebrate ‘Christ the King’

 

In our Gospel reading we have just heard the exchange between Pilate and Jesus – before Jesus is led away to be Crucified – when Pilate asks Jesus if He was a king.

 

The responses made by Jesus are both incriminating and revealing

 

He agreed that He had a Kingdom and was born to rule –  but the Kingship He proclaimed was not like anything Pilate had ever known before –

With the help of our readings we are going to look at what Jesus said –  and see what message His words have for us today –

 

Point 1        Vision of Daniel

 

“My Kingdom is not of this world”

 

Evidence of this is given in the vision of Daniel

 

Daniel experienced his visions some 600 years before the coming of Jesus during the time of the Babylonian exile.

 

They occurred near the end of Daniel’s life and were intended to help him and his people focus on the promises to come.

 

In his vision there is a clear picture of a Throne and the Ancient One – and the passing of “dominion – glory and kingship” – to the “One like a human being coming with the clouds form heaven”

 

Jesus is given authority over all –

People, nations and languages should serve Him and His Kingship will last forever.

 

When Pilate asks Jesus about His Kingly credentials- he was clearly not expecting the answer he got –

 

Pilate was fully aware of what Kings are and how they were made –

 

In the Ancient world kings ruled according to their own whims and wishes

 

Today’s kings and queens are more like ‘constitutional’ monarchs – than ‘absolute’ ones – bringing pressure to bear on politicians rather than dictating to them –

 

Crowns would pass from Father to Son or close male relatives – and only a revolution would disturb the pattern –

 

Jesus of course did have a geaneology going back to King David – but Pilate wouldn’t be aware of it

 

So when Pilate saw this poor man – from the wrong part of the country – with a small band of followers – who had all run away – he’d naturally assumed he gained his status through violent means –

 

But when he spoke to Jesus – he got quite a different picture

 

Jesus’ kingdom is for this world – but it isn’t from it – If it were of the normal type – His followers would fight to stop Him being handed over –

 

He is a king – but of a kingdom proclaimed in heaven – A Spiritual Kingdom that would have quite different goals and methods to those used by earthly kings –

 

Jesus spent His entire ministry telling His Disciples about this Kingdom –

 

It’s a Kingdom that will build people up from the inside – not control them from the outside –

 

It’s a Kingdom that depends on God’s grace – not on earthly laws –

 

It’s a kingdom that works in love and service – not for self-promotion

 

It’s a Kingdom where we respond in love to our enemy and pray for those who persecute us –

 

It’s a kingdom that is built on love – and looks and acts like its king –

 

Point 2        Revelation

 

“You day that I am King – but for this I was born and for this I came into the world”

 

Here Jesus is saying – that He came into the world – to reveal His Kingdom and to lead the people to it –

 

Our NT reading form Revelation is another apocalyptic writing written at the time when the infant churches were being persecuted because of their faith in Jesus –

 

False teachings and compromise were finding their way into the infant churches – and many were beginning to doubt – and question the promises Jesus had made – this book was written to urge them to remain Faithful whatever happens

 

It’s an extended letter – it’s also prophecy – and a witness to Jesus as – the mighty conqueror exercising divine judgement on the world-

 

Within our text – Jesus – is called the faithful witness – because of His telling of and showing of God’s love to all He meets –

 

The evidence for Him doing this is in the Gospels – and the miracles He performed – witnessed by His disciples – and those whose lives He touches –

 

He is also described as the first born of the dead –

 

This is a reference to Jesus’ death and resurrection – which was a significant event in God’s plan –

 

Jesus had been given the power and authority over life itself – but His purpose was to give up that life for others – so they would see how important their salvation is to God –

 

Jesus was sent to show us the way to God’s love and presence – through His death and resurrection on the cross –

 

Pilate would have no control over the events that would follow –

 

At His crucifixion Jesus accepted the burden of our sins – once and for all – so we can be forgiven and welcomed into His Kingdom –

Point 3        The truth and what it means

 

“I came to bring the truth, Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice”

 

The truth that Jesus brings – is Himself

 

The truth of who He is and why He was sent – and the truth of His Kingdom and His Kingship

 

Everything flows from Jesus – He is before all things and outlasts all things –

 

He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end – symbolized by the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet –

 

Other leaders will claim this title but Jesus is the only one – to whom it belongs –

 

Jesus reminds us that those who accept and believe in Him – will belong to Him –

 

And those who listen and follow His ways – and accept Him as their king – are welcomed are members of His kingdom –

 

Jesus is not the King that everybody expected –

 

In fact He is much more than we could have ever imagined –

 

He is a king that brings heaven to earth and earth to heaven –

 

He puts His kingdom into operation through those He has rescued – and died and took the path ahead of us so that that rescue can be achieved –

 

Jesus is a king – not like the kings of the world – He calls people to obey and follow His path; not because they have to – but because He lives by truth and love –

 

Conclusion

 

Next Sunday we begin a brand new year as we prepare for Christmas.  We will light candles each Sunday and sing carols and get ready for the coming of Jesus – the Jesus whom we call King of Kings and Lord of Lords-

 

Our challenge will be to remember the one who comes in humility, whose message starts with a manger rather than a jeweled crib, a king who feasts with fishermen, beggars and prostitutes, a king concerned with justice rather than finery and possession, and a king who despite resurrection bears the signs of the cross – who asks for followers rather than admirers-

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the Life – and He brings into the lives of those who are willing to accept Him – Himself –

 

As members of His Kingdom – we are not just called to speak about it – but to be part of it – He is inviting us today – what will our response be?

 

Prayer to finish

 

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

AMEN